Film / The Cure

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The Cure is a 1917 short comedy film directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin.

Here Chaplin plays not his usual Tramp character, but a drunken rich fop who has been sent to a health spa to dry out. While there he manages to irritate a large man (Eric Campbell, Chaplin's regular heavy) and romance a pretty girl (Edna Purviance). Apparently he's there involuntarily, because he certainly isn't going to stop drinking, health spa or no health spa.

Not to be confused with the post-punk group.

Tropes:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Eric Campbell's hulking, lecherous gout victim is this to Edna Purviance, who is horrified at his leering at her.
  • The Alcoholic: Charlie's been sent to a spa to get sober. His steamer trunk is packed full of liquor bottles. He has a corkscrew on his keychain.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: During the confrontation between Charlie, Edna, and Eric Campbell, Edna denounces Campbell in a very artificial, theatrical way. Campbell turns away from her with another exaggerated, theatrical gesture. Charlie then does a little stage bow for the camera.
  • Contortionist: The man getting worked on in the spa before Charlie, which quickly turns him off to the idea.
  • Drugs Are Good: The health spa looks a lot more fun after everyone there accidentally gets drunk on Charlie's liquor stash.
  • Hangover Sensitivity: The guests at the spa are much the worse for wear the morning after getting trashed on Charlie's liquor.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Charlie reproaches a steward for smoking, then opens his luggage to reveal a huge stash of alcohol.
  • Iconic Outfit: Charlie's playing a rich man in this one so he doesn't wear the Tramp get-up. But the only thing in his large steamer trunk besides liquor bottles is the Tramp's bowler hat and starched collar. He sets them carefully on his dresser.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Charlie's liquor stash is discovered by the management. A steward is ordered to throw out the bottles, and he does — right into the communal well that supplies mineral water to the guests at the spa. Everybody there gets good and drunk.
  • Nameless Narrative: As usual for a Chaplin film.
  • Tropaholics Anonymous: Averted. This film actually pre-dates Alcoholics Anonymous and the idea of addict support groups by a couple of decades. They did have rehab in those days, though, and sometimes alcoholics like Charlie's character would get sent to rehab centers to dry out.

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